Arbor Day: Seeding The Desire To Plant Trees Amid Climate Change
Arboretum Signature Holiday Provides Enriching, Educational and Fun Experiences
LISLE, IL (April 5, 2007) – Arbor Day, the nation’s oldest environmental holiday, is getting new attention this year as the nation focuses on climate change, and the need to plant trees. The Morton Arboretum’s annual Arbor Day celebration, April 27, spotlights the message: “Plant Trees.”
“To celebrate this occasion, everyone should either plant a tree or do something to improve the health of an existing tree," said Clement W. Hamilton, Ph.D., Arboretum Vice President of Programs and Director of Research. "Urban and suburban communities that flourish depend on trees in so many ways, from energy conservation to stormwater management to retail success, and they are the most fragile and underappreciated part of our essential infrastructure," Hamilton noted.
The Arboretum’s Arbor Day Weekend offerings, April 27-29, are designed to engage families in the “plant trees” mission in fun and exciting ways. There will be parades for children, a delightful tree “factory,” a tree-planting, drop-in events in the Children’s Garden, and a sale of special plants.
This year’s festivities also involve a unique creation by internationally-renowned artist Patrick Dougherty. Starting on April 6, Dougherty will twist and “snag” together saplings and branches, creating a woven wood sculpture in the Pine Family Collection. The artist will present his finished work at the Arbor Day Tree Planting ceremony, and announce the sculpture’s name.
“Dougherty’s wonderful art will inspire us to examine our personal connection to trees,” said Marilyn Baysek, the Arboretum’s Manager of Special Events. “His sculpture reminds us that trees provide sheer joy and beauty, as well as practical benefits,” Baysek said.
Families will be invited to take part in the official tree-planting starting at 11 a.m. in the Pine Family Collection. Prior to this, Arboretum mascot “Morty the Oak” will lead children in a parade through the Children’s Garden to the tree-planting site, with children wearing “tree masks” they create beforehand.
For the first time ever, the annual “Plant Sale,” will provide edibles, such as fruiting trees, berries, and grapes, and an expanded line of herbs. Approximately 25,000 trees and other plants will be available for sale – the most ever. Arboretum members can shop from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Non-members can shop on Sunday, April 29 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Anyone who is not yet a member can sign up on Friday, April 27, or Saturday, April 28, get $5 off any level of Arboretum yearly membership, and then go straight into the members-only Plant Sale. Arrive as early as you can, as some varieties – such as the fruit trees – are in limited supply.
Visitors can “clock-in” to work a shift at “The Plant,” an award-winning exhibit. It’s engaging and fun activities explore the processes in spring growth and renewal of trees and plants as they emerge from their winter slumber. Included are spring crafts, nature activities and a potting area to prepare and plant your own seedling to take home. “The Plant!” operates 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Jump into the Children’s Garden for special weekend drop-in activities, from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.:
- In “Be A Tree!,” family members create terrific tree masks to take home.
- In “Tree Detectives,” kids learn about the history of trees by examining “tree cookies”
- With “twigonometree,” create twiggy items in “Terrific Twigs” (Friday only)
Check out the natural art forms of various trees during “Art in Nature,” one-hour, guided walks along Meadow Lake and through the Pine Family Collection. The tour includes a stop at the special Patrick Dougherty sculpture. Tours on Friday, Saturday and Sunday start at 1 p.m. from Arbor Court.
Grab a seat on the Acorn Express – our open-air tram – for a special “Art In Nature” guided tour at 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 29. We’ll focus on the artistic aspects of the Arboretum’s trees, collections and landscapes – all in their spring glory. (Also, catch one of the regular Acorn Express tram tours daily at 10:30 a.m., noon, 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m.) Tickets are $6 a seat ($5 for Arboretum members); $4 children ages 3-12, and are available at the Visitor Center Information Desk.
The Arboretum is partnering with IKEA on Arbor Day, a company which shares the Arboretum’s goal of encouraging all to plant trees. IKEA will formally present a check to Arboretum Resource Conservation Committee members, at noon, in the Children’s Garden Amphitheatre.
There is no admission charge on Arbor Day. Admission for Saturday and Sunday is $7 per person for ages 18-64; $5 per person for seniors; and $4 per person for ages 3-17. Under age 3 is free. Parking is free.
The Morton Arboretum is an internationally recognized 1,700-acre outdoor museum with collections of more than 4,057 kinds of trees, shrubs, and other plants from around the world. The Arboretum's beautiful natural landscapes, gardens, research and education programs, and year-round family activities support its mission – the planting and conservation of trees and other plants for a greener, healthier, and more beautiful world. Conveniently located at I-88 and Rte. 53 in Lisle, Illinois, the Arboretum is open 7 days a week, 365 days a year, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. or sunset, whichever is earlier, Central Time. The Children's Garden is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (CDT) and 9:30 to 4 p.m. (CST). Visit www.mortonarb.org or call 630/968-0074 to learn more.
Media Contacts: Gina Tedesco, 630-725-2103,